Crocheted Bees, Bugs & Butterflies By Vanessa Mooncie In-Depth Review

This week I sat down with the latest crochet book from Vanessa Mooncie and GMC Publications called Crocheted Bees, Bugs & Butterflies. I’ll be sharing with you my in-depth review of this book so you know what to expect before making a decision to buy a copy for yourself. Keep reading to learn more about Crocheted Bees, Bugs & Butterflies.

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Thanks to GMC Publications for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

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I have had the opportunity to review some of Vanessa’s previous titles like Crocheted Dogs, Simple Crocheted Hats, Crocheted Animal Rugs and my personal favourite, Crocheted Birds – all of which have been fantastic books that are still a part of my personal crochet library. Vanessa has a reputation for creating gorgeous, realistic amigurumi crochet projects so I have been very excited to check out her latest title.

Cover of the book Crocheted Bees, Bugs and Butterflies by Vanessa Mooncie with text underneath indication a book review of that title.

Patterns in Crocheted Bees, Bugs & Butterflies

There are crochet patterns for 10 different crocheted bees, bugs & butterflies (with three of these patterns including variations to create an additional 6 species of insects) in this new title by Vanessa Mooncie. The projects found in this 144 page book are:

  • Bumblebees: White-Tailed Bumblebee, Red-Tailed Bumblebee & Tree Bumblebee
  • Cicada
  • Praying Mantis
  • Christmas Beetle
  • Swallowtail Butterflies: Tiger Swallowtail, Zebra Swallowtail & Pipevine Swallowtail
  • Dragonfly
  • Ladybird
  • Mirror Spider
  • Moths: Harnessed Tiger Moth, Leopard Moth & Wite Ermine Moth
  • Stag Beetle

The patterns in this amigurumi book are written in the UK terminology with a conversion chart for those used to working with US terminology found on page 138. The projects themselves are all very small, only a few inches long and they are crocheted using teeny, tiny hooks (i.e. 1.25mm) and thread.

image of a crocheted ladybird on a rock in the book Crocheted Bees, Bugs & Butterflies

I found the majority of the patterns to be straightforward and easy to follow. Patterns are supported by stitch charts which I found to be helpful at clarifying some more complex instructions. The first stitch chart in each pattern is accompanied by a key indicating what each symbol means.

The finished projects themselves, are gorgeous and realistic. The White Ermine Moth in the book is pictured having been turned into a brooch and although admittedly, brooches aren’t part of my typical wardrobe, this moth is so beautiful, I may have to start using them. If you’re not willing to take the leap into sporting your bugs on your person, Vanessa includes some guidance on pages 136 – 137 of the book for displaying your projects using glass domes, picture frames and brooches.

I love the idea of displaying your crocheted bees, bugs and butterflies in a picture frame or glass dome like an entymologist. If you have kids or friends that love bugs like my kids do, this is a great way to gift your project to them. My daughter has woken up every day since I received this book asking me if I can make her a moth or a butterfly to put in a picture frame on her wall. I think she will be very excited when she gets one or two for Christmas this year.

image of a green and brown crocheted christmas beetle in a glass dome.

Check out the Video Version of this Review!

Tools and Materials Used in Crocheted Bees, Bugs & Butterflies

Below is a high-level outline of materials used throughout the book:

  • Crochet hooks: 1.25mm (UK3/US8), 1.5mm (UK 2 1/2/US7), 1.75mm (UK 2/ US6)
  • Drops Kid-Silk Uni-Colour yarn
  • Anchor Freccia yarn
  • Scheepjes Maxi Sweet Treat yarn
  • DMC Coton Perle 8 Thread
  • DMC Diamant Metallic Thread
  • Rico Essentials Crochet
  • Scheepjes Alpaca Rhythm yarn
  • Metallic Stranded Embroidery Thread
  • Stranded Embroidery Thread
  • Blunt and Sharp-ended Darning Needles
  • Toy Stuffing
  • Craft Wire of Various Gauges
  • Rive, Barrel, Seed and Glass Beads
  • Square Sequins
  • Nylon Invisible Thread
  • Long-Nose Pliers
  • All-Purpose Adhesive
  • PVA Glue
  • Stitch Markers

Resources Available in This Book

In the end of the book (pages 124 – 135) is where you will find the main resources (called Techniques) available in Crochted Bees, Bugs & Butterflies. Instructions for the following stitches and techniques are included in the book:

  • Substituting Yarns
  • Reading Charts
  • Slip Knot
  • Holding a Crochet Hook
  • Magic Loop/Magic Ring
  • Slip Stitch (note: the instructions on this one are good however, the image shows a single crochet being executed, not a slip stitch)
  • Chain (CH)
  • Double Crochet (DC in UK terms) / Single Crochet (SC in US)
  • Half Treble Crochet (UK) / Half Double Crochet (US)
  • Treble Crochet (UK) / Double Crochet (US)
  • Double Treble Crochet (UK) / Treble Crochet (US)
  • Increasing & Decreasing
  • Crocheting Around Wire
  • Joining a New Colour, Carrying Unused Colours
  • Working in Front or Back Loops Only
  • Finishing Touches: Stuffing, Sewing Pieces Together (Whip & Back Stitch), Embroidery Stitches (Straight Stitch, Satin Stitch, Fly Stitch, Lazy Daisy Stitch & Fastening Off)
  • Making Antennae
  • Attaching Glass Eyes or Beads
  • Display & Care of Projects
  • Abbreviations
  • Conversions
image of crocheted moths in a glass dome
image of the crocheted swallowtail butterfly from the book Crocheted Bees, Bugs & Butterflies by Vanessa Mooncie

There is a small section explaining how to read a crochet chart which is a bit too basic in my opinion. It doesn’t tell you what each of the symbols means in a chart which is kind of only taking this explanation part of the way. Sure, each pattern has a key of symbols with the first chart of every pattern however, it would make sense to have a full key of symbols in this section to help clarify and reinforce the topic. When you have a section that explains how to hold a crochet hook, I’d expect to see a more thorough explanation of this concept, however, I realize in this instance, I’m probably just being picky.

Overall, I really enjoyed this Crocheted Bees, Bugs & Butterflies. As I’ve come to expect from a Vanessa Mooncie title, each project is an absolute work of art. I’d recommend this title for experienced, intermediate-level crocheters that understand creating a work of art of this nature takes time, patience and finesse. This is a great addition to your crochet library if you or a loved one loves insects or if you simply want to learn how to create showstopping, realistic bees, bugs & butterflies.

If you'd like to purchase a copy of Crocheted Bees, Bugs & Butterflies by Vanessa Mooncie, it is available for purchase from Amazon or Book Depository.

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